About operaramblings

Toronto based lover of opera, art song and related music

Signal boosting Tapestry

Screen Shot 2020-03-18 at 3.16.31 PMThe following just in from Tapestry concerning Saturday night’s livestream of Songbook X.

Although we were heartbroken to cancel, we are thrilled to announce that our headlining artists have agreed to change tack and perform a full recital, streaming for free: Songbook X: Krisztina Szabó and Chris Foley in Livestream Concert – hosted by Michael Hidetoshi Mori, streaming live on our Youtube channel on Saturday, March 21st at 8:00PM.

Krisztina Szabó, mezzo-soprano, will be performing Tapestry selections and other select opera and art song, accompanied by Chris Foley, collaborative pianist, on our fabulous Bösendorfer Imperial Grand Piano. The performance will be free for all to watch, no matter where in the world. 

Let’s see if we can make this the biggest Tapestry gig ever!

Respighi’s Sleeping Beauty

Resphigi’s La bella dormente nel bosco (libretto by Gian Bistolfi) is a take on the Charles Perreault fairy story.  It was originally written for a puppet theatre and later adapted for human performers.  Its heritage shows in it that it’s very much a numbers opera and it’s quite short.  The three acts come in at around eighty minutes.  Musically it’s a bit of a hodge podge.  It’s mostly quite atmospheric and colourful (similar to Resphigi’s better known orchestral works) with elements of parody.  One can sort of hear echoes of Debussy, Stravinsky and Strauss.  It finishes up with a cakewalk and a Broadway style finale which is decidedly odd.

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The Salzburg Festival: A Brief History

Tony Palmer’s 2006 documentary about the Salzburg Festival is over three hours long and uncomfortable to watch in the way the best films are.  He combines interviews with performance and other documentary footage to extremely good effect to go beyond telling the “Salzburg story ” to explore fundamental questions of the arts and the state and the very purpose of art.

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Cancellation update

closedYesterday I received seven assorted emails about cancellations in Toronto plus news from the Metropolitan Opera.  Essentially all the major orchestras and music theatre organisations in Toronto are shuttered until at least the end of the month.  Events are also being called off elsewhere so check your location situation.  Here’s a quick run down:

 

  • The Four Seasons Centre is closed until the end of the first week of April.  So, the ballet is off, as is the free concert series.  The COC is still planning to run its spring season but we’ll see.
  • Tafelmusik and the TSO have cancelled performances until the end of the month.
  • After tomorrow the UoT and the Conservatory are cancelling public events until the end of the month.
  • Tapestry Songbook on March 21st is sort of cancelled.  There will be no live audience but the show will be live streamed at 8pm and the performers are being paid.  Go Tapestry!
  • Amici Chamber Ensemble’s show on the 29th is off.
  • The Metropolitan Opera is closed so no Live in HD but they are doing free nightly web casts of the HD back catalogue.  Details here.

More news when I have any…. Stay safe!

 

Mansfield Park

Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park opened last night at UoT Opera in a production by Tim Albery.  It’s a really interesting show that builds up in “layers” to a very satisfying whole.  The Austen  novel, of course, is very self consciously a novel.  There’s no pretence at “immersion”.  The author is both telling the story and commenting on it for the benefit of you, the reader.  Librettist Alasdair Middleton both builds on this and does a quite brilliant job of compression to bring in a condensed, and only slightly simplified, version of the story in under two hours.

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Judith’s Saga

judith_sHubert Parry’s Judith has been making something of a comeback.  A new performing edition by Professor Stephanie Martin was performed at Koerner Hall by the Pax Christi Chorale in May 2015.  That seems to have sparked some interest since the piece was transplanted to the Royal Festival Hall in London in April 2019 where rather larger forces presented the piece to generally good reviews.  Subsequently the same forces mad a studio recording which has just been released as a hybrid SACD/CD release.  If you want to know more googling “Parry Judith” will bring up a small library of articles on the “Judith Project” and how this piece has been unfairly neglected.

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